Cinema Review: Total Recall

DIR: Len Wiseman • WRI: Kurt Wimmer, Mark Bomback • PRO: Toby Jaffe, Neal H. Moritz • DOP: Paul Cameron • ED: Christian Wagner • DES: Patrick Tatopoulos • CAST: Colin Farrell, Bokeem Woodbine, Bryan Cranston, Kate Beckinsale

‘Get your arse to Mars!’ Anyone familiar with these legendary words, once beautifully mangled by Mr Schwarzeneggar, will have at least a passing interest in this remake of Total Recall. Regretfully, it isn’t a patch on the larger than life, cartoonish fun of the original. Strangely, though, it’s a disappointment that’s more like a regretful sigh than a heated diatribe.

The film starts out promisingly enough. One parkour-like sequence where Farrell and Beckinsale move through an M.C. Escher-style vision of the future is genuinely spectacular and the lead, Colin Farrell, is not in any way objectionable as Douglas Quaid/Hauser. He looks the part and turns in a perfectly creditable performance. But in the same way that double agent Hauser just doesn’t feel right living the life of Quaid, a simple factory worker, Farrell is let down by an unconvincing backstory. The whole world of the film has been designed to give an excuse for one ‘cool’ special effect.

I’ll say this for director Len Wiseman, the man knows how to make a pretty film. In the sci-fi genre, that’s a skill that rarely goes astray. But the man known for Underworld films should have given his apparent muse Kate Beckinsale a rest, as all that was missing from her one-note performance was a pair of fangs.

All in all, it’s a rather pretty but ultimately hollow effort – I’d rather recall, recall, recall, Total Recall (1990).

Niamh Creely

Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
118 mins
Total Recall is released on 29th August 2012

Total Recall – Official Website

Click here for an interview with the director of Total Recall, Len Wiseman


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